Monday, July 19, 2010

The one where it's "all about us" and we go on a mini-adventure

If you came here to read a blog post about my witty, sarcastic, intelligent, beautiful offspring then you should probably skip this post. Because they aren't factoring in to today's post. This one is just about me & Mike (so our fans can totally stay, pull up a chair and get a fresh cup of coffee). The kids were home this weekend, and chaos ensued, but then they left again Sunday morning. And do you know what? For the first time ever, I was actually glad to see their backs as they headed out the door. For real. I'm not sure if this makes me a bad mom or not. We'll figure that out in another post.

So it's Sunday and Mike & I are once again alone. It's funny because if you'd have asked me 6 months ago, hell, even 3 months ago, how Mike & I were going to be when the kids left I would have shrugged. We'd really come to a point where we did our own things. I had my writing, my friends, my kids. He had his job, his hunting, his friends and the kids. But honestly, we didn't spend much time together. We don't like the same kind of TV, movies or music. I adore the beach, he calls it the "big puddle". I love to travel, he'd rather be home. Mostly when we talked it was about the kids. When we did go out on rare occasions, after we'd exhausted the topic of our offspring, we ran out of things to say. It just became easier to spend our time apart. Did this worry me? Maybe a little, if I'm honest (and you KNOW that I am). But it wasn't like a "I'm divorcing you" kind of thing. I mean, I knew we still loved each other. I just thought I might be a bit lonely and bored when the kids were gone.

Funny how life happens, isn't it? Because since Mike's accident, we've spent scads of time alone. The time in the hospital doesn't really count. But once we came home we've had the opportunity to really spend a lot (all) of our time together. And what we've come to find out is that we do just fine. In fact, we do great. We can compromise on TV, movies and music. We can talk about his hunting and my writing. We can simply bask in each other's company. We can curl up together in the recliner and "snuggle". (We also tend to fall asleep that way, prompting Lu to call us "cute" and take photos. No, I will not post them.) And we can have fun together.

Yesterday, we went on a mini adventure. We had a rescue cat that needed a new home. The new home was in Chicago. The person to take her to the new home was in Pekin. So we got on MapQuest, figured out that Pekin was about the same distance from our house at Springfield and said "what the heck, let's go to Pekin". But there's really not much in Pekin that interested us, so we decided that after we dropped the cat off, we'd go to Peoria (another 25 minutes) and eat at Olive Garden and visit Barnes & Noble (okay B&N was really my idea, Mike's not so much).

The drive to Pekin wasn't too bad. Lots of two lane roads through the country. Unfortunately, MapQuest? Not so hot with the directions. We kept looking for our road to turn into the roads that MapQuest said it would, but that didn't happen. Fortunately, I'm handy with an Atlas and direction. So we made the turns we needed to and didn't get lost. We did see a lot of country side. And corn. And beans. And cows. And tiny towns. The tiny town of Astoria Illinois has the worst roads ever. Seriously there was a sign that said "rough road next 10 miles". Dude. Apparently they missed the 6 miles of rough road before the sign. And coming out of there? We got stuck behind "Ashy 89" (according to her license plates) who was doing 30 mph on a 55 mph two lane highway. And the road was all curvy and hilly so I couldn't pass.

Me: Why the hell are we going so slow?

Mike: Because we're stuck behind Ashy.

Me: Yeah, but why is Ashy going so slow?

Mike: (reading a roadside sign) Woodland Church of the Brethren

Me: That sounds like the church from Children of the Corn. Maybe Ashy's scared one of the Children of the Corn will jump in front of her car and that's why she's going so slow.

Mike: Maybe Ashy IS one of the Children of the Corn and she's driving slow so that they can get us.

Me: Um. My mind already went there and then shied away. Do you really want to play that game on these tiny roads hemmed in by corn??

Luckily, nothing got us. I did see a ton of little cemeteries, but I forgot my camera. Next time I'm bringing it and stopping. We made it to Pekin, dropped off the cat and headed to Peoria. Which is where we found out that Mike is a horrible navigator. Really. Just don't even listen to him. Thankfully, growing up in the backseat of a car gives you an innate sense of direction, a skilled ability to read highway signs, amazing powers of observation and a sense of adventure.

In Peoria we ate at Olive Garden. Mmmmmmm. Delicious. I had the mezzaluna ravioli with steak medallions. Mike had the Tour of Italy. And we shared dessert. Yummy. Thank you Peg and Dwight for the gift card!! Then we headed to the bookstore. They didn't have the books I wanted. And the ones they did have? Well, I can get them at Amazon cheaper. I did pick up a bargain book of vampire stories. Mike sat in a chair and waited for me.

Then we headed home. The drive back was easy. I knew exactly where to go. Mike would get a little antsy and be all "do you know where you're going?" or "are we on the right road?". But I did and we were. I'd point out things we'd passed to reassure him, but he didn't remember any of them. So then he fell asleep. And I meandered us back home.

It was a lovely day and a lovely adventure. I did feel a bit guilty that the kids missed Olive Garden because they are little foodies. But I did enjoy the peaceful drive. So when the kids move out for good? I think we're going to do just fine. No. I think we're going to do great.

Happy Monday,


  1. It's a good thing you didn't have your camera! Don't you know the corn church people hide in the corn and wait for heathens like you to try and document their sacred lands? Then KABLEWIE!

  2. Aww, how wonderful! I think the two of you will not only figure it out....but *enjoy* it!

  3. My hubby and I have gotten to a place where we can spend some really enjoyable time in silence. My day is so full of entertaining tiny people that I yearn for that 'quiet time' with my man. We also spend plenty of time laughing, discussing and occasionally arguing. We've got a few years before the kids take flight and while I have no intentions of hurrying time along,I actually look forward to it a tiny bit! :)

  4. It feels pretty good to get out for the day on a little Road Trip like that, sounds like you both had a good time.

    Heres to more little Road Trips for you both, like you said there is no doubt that you are going to do just Great together after the kids move.

  5. Awww, that's sweet. Take it from me, life after kids (after they're gone, I mean) can be pretty darn good. I'm so glad you guys are on a fun path to enjoy it. It's a shame so many couples don't find that path together, because the rewards are really terrific. Road trip sounds perfect.

  6. That's awesome. My husband and I have always had kids around, we were barely together a year before the prospect of our first manifested. Sometimes I wonder what we'll do when there's no whining and demands and small people to share meals with. But it's good to know sweet adventures like these might be in our future. Glad to hear that he is home and doing well enough to go on leisurely drives. Makes me happy. :)

  7. Oh Spot I am so glad that you and your hubby are getting to spend time together. ( Of course I am not at all excited for you about the circumstances)
    Many hugs your way!

  8. Sounds like a wonderful day.

    Would love that myself.

    Good for you guys!

  9. I love days like that! And YUMMMMMMM - Olive Garden!

    That is crazy about the roads. I stopped trusting Mapquest LONG ago. They suck. Use Google maps, then again you'd miss the children of the corn drivers. Hey, maybe it was Jeepers Creepers. You are lucky you have your eyeballs.


  10. I'm so glad you guys had a good time and enjoyed the gift card. I really like Olive Garden too.

    I have decided for inspiration/information you need to go stay at The Dresser Palmer House where we were at the last couple of days. Did you know Savannah is one of the most haunted cities in America? We had a few little "visitors" at the inn over the weekend me thinks! Creeped Dwight out BIG TIME. He was like "I'm never staying in THAT room again!" He was so funny.

  11. Awww! I am glad that Mike and you had a good time!

  12. This post shows so much of your heart Stacey. You put it out there, and I bet others who read this can find themselves in this situation. I believe you've provided hope that all will be well when the children leave.

    And has a way of throwing us curve balls but I've found that slowing down and trying to find the good in the detour really blesses us. step-mom's family lives in Flora.

  13. Sweetie, this was such a lovely post. I'm so happy that you and Mike are in that sweet place where you know you can be alone together and not drive each other batty!

    I'll bet 99% of the population can't say that! I actually KNOW someone in Peoria!